Social media medicine

TECHNOLOGICAL advances and the desire to stay in touch have taken communications beyond the office and the home into our handbags, our briefcases, our pockets. The Internet has democratised information, giving ordinary people access to research and reports that were once strictly the domain of professionals.

This is especially the case in the field of medicine, where patients are now using an array of online tools and techniques to find out more about their health – whether it’s a Google search of symptoms or downloading apps to monitor their weight or blood pressure.
 Some GPs have taken to emailing and using an Internet voice system such as Skype to interact with patients. 

So-called patient communities allow patients to discuss symptoms, conditions and treatments online. Support sites exist to help people with chronic or fatal illness. 

People share their experiences on video posting sites like YouTube. Medical